Special Considerations in a Gray Divorce
Special Considerations in a Gray Divorce



Special Considerations in a Gray Divorce

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Though the term does not include any defined age brackets, gray divorce in Ohio generally involves older individuals who are seeking to dissolve their marriage. The parties may be approaching retirement, and their children have often already reached adulthood. The marriage may last several decades, but there are also spouses who seek gray divorce after getting married later in life. Statistics indicate that gray divorce is on the rise in the US, with the divorce rate for those older than 50 years having doubled from 1990 to 2015. Current data shows that more than one-third of people going through divorce in the US are 50 years or older.

If you are going through a gray divorce, you probably realize that there are many unique issues that do not impact spouses who are younger. Even though Ohio divorce laws do not change based on age, you could encounter challenges. It is smart to retain an Ohio divorce attorney for assistance with the special considerations for a  gray divorce, such as:


Along with the marital home, retirement may be among the most valuable assets in a gray divorce. Spouses earn and contribute to their accounts, expecting that the funds will be available in retirement; however, divorce means you may have to split these amounts. Another issue with retirement is that the financial strain of divorce may cause a party to remain in the workforce for longer.


Ohio divorce courts consider a number of factors when awarding spousal support, and a few of them are relevant to gray divorce:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Retirement accounts held by the parties;
  • Age and well-being of each spouse; and,
  • How much time it would require the alimony recipient to gain education and skills to become self-supporting?

All spousal support factors will be considered by the judge, but these could be given more weight in a gray divorce.

Social Security

Some benefits are tied to your spouse’s earnings, so they could be affected if you divorce. However, an ex-spouse can still receive Social Security after divorce if: 

  • The marriage lasted longer than 10 years;
  • The recipient is 62 years or older; and,
  • The recipient is not married (the primary Social Security beneficiary can still remarry). 

Spouse as Caregiver

In some gray divorce cases, one party may have been acting as a caregiver for the other. A new arrangement is necessary, and there will be costs involved when caregiving duties no longer fall on a spouse. 


Maturity comes with age, and older couples may get more out of mediation than younger spouses. The parties benefit from having a trained mediator oversee the process and facilitate productive conversation toward agreement. 

Discuss Details of Gray Divorce with an Ohio Divorce Lawyer

Divorce laws apply to all cases regardless of age, but there are unique challenges when you are going through a gray divorce. For assistance with your case, please contact Fout Law Office, LLC in North Canton, OH. We can schedule a consultation with an Ohio divorce lawyer who will explain more about the process.

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